The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has joined the international community to stand in solidarity with older persons in Ghana and around the world in celebration of the International Day of Older Persons 2023.
The Commission, in a statement to commemorate the International Day of Older Persons signed by Mr. Josephy Whittal, CHRAJ Commissioner and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Tema, said some considerable progress was made with regards to the protection and promotion of older person’s rights in Ghana since it became a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“In spite of the considerable achievements, more needs to be done. The contribution of older persons to the political, social, and economic development of the country cannot be undermined just because they are old.
“On the commemoration of this day, CHRAJ calls the attention of the government and its relevant agencies and departments to the peculiar needs of older persons needed to live dignified and healthy lives devoid of stigmatisation and dehumanising prejudices and stereotypes.
“More specifically, there is a need for older persons in Ghana to have access to productive resources, active participation in political and social activities, and the best standards for end-of-life care, palliative care, and geriatric health care in the country,” the commission stated.
The statement said CHRAJ, on its part, had been working on protecting the rights of elderly women accused or at risk of witchcraft allegation through its Access to Justice Project on Gender-Based Violence Against Elderly Women Alleged as Witches in Ghana.
As part of the project, CHRAJ has launched a baseline study report and organized sensitization and capacity-building workshops in the Northern and Northeast Regions of Ghana to squarely address the issues raised around gender-based violence broadly and the abuse and discrimination faced by women and children experiencing or at-risk of witchcraft allegations.
The day was instituted on December 14, 1990, by the United Nations General Assembly through resolution 45/126. There had been the World Assembly on Ageing, where the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing was adopted and later endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 1982.
This year’s theme for the celebration of older persons is “Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons: Across Generations.
The focus is to highlight the rights of older persons and the relevance of addressing the various violations they face, as well as the need for intergenerational solidarity through equity and reciprocity.
This aims at contributing to sustainable solutions towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals with its clarion call of leaving no one behind.
The Commission also expressed dissatisfaction that the National Ageing Bill is yet to be passed into law, which is critical in streamlining the rights of older persons in the national development agenda.
The Commission entreated the government to speed up processes in passing the National Ageing Bill.
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